Cafiero to inaugurate new Argentine embassy in Bangladesh

The Foreign Minister will travel to the South Asian country, where fans amazed Argentina with massive support for la Albiceleste during the World Cup.

Argentina will reopen its embassy in Bangladesh on February 27, Foreign Minister Santiago has announced. The minister will travel to Bangladesh to inaugurate Argentina’s embassy in the capital, Dhaka, and develop a trade promotion and investment agenda in the country. 

Cafiero confirmed this decision to Sadia Faizunnesa, the country’s ambassador to Brazil, in a meeting at Palacio San Martín last Friday, which included Bangladeshi trade officials and Argentine businessmen. 

The trip will be the first time a South American Foreign Minister has made an official visit to Bangladesh, where the Argentine embassy was closed by the dictatorship in 1978.

The Foreign Ministry hopes to develop a bilateral relation focused on international trade, diversifying Argentina’s export offering, which is currently centered on oils, cereals, flours and soy pellets, to cater to the growing demand of the Bangladeshi market. The South Asian nation has a population of 170 million people.

Bangladesh came into the spotlight for many Argentines during the World Cup, when they saw viral social media videos showing Bangladeshi fans’ massive outpouring of love and support for Argentina’s national football team, the Albiceleste. In return, Bangladesh flags were spotted during celebrations of the world championship win in Buenos Aires. 

While the Foreign Ministry’s announcement does not specifically mention the World Cup, it does mention that the two countries will seek to co-operate in sport, as well as satellites, humanitarian aid and disaster management. 

Bilateral trade is currently around US$900 million, mostly goods exported from Argentina to Bangladesh, but “there is still great potential for commercial expansion, considering Argentina is positioned as a strategic and reliable provider of food and energy”, according to the Ministry. 

Bangladesh imports large quantities of agricultural commodities such as wheat, oil, sugar, lentils and cereals, and expects a reliable supply of these and other products through direct buying as part of a state plan to subsidize food for 10 million people. The plan is co-ordinated by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), a state organism that imports and exports products and promotes sales and distribution of commodities. 

The Bangladeshi delegation included the Secretary of the Trade Minister Tapan Kanti Ghosh and TCB officials. Local officials included Guillermo Merediz, Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotion, and Claudio Rozencwaig, Undersecretary for Foreign Policy. The local businessmen party was made of representatives from the Chamber of Edible Oil Industries, the Argentine Chamber of Trade and Services, and the National Institute of Yerba Mate.


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